As the humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave had badly deteriorated, "Hamas organized the demonstrations so that people would not turn on them", the man said in Arabic, in a video released by the IDF on Tuesday.
Thousands of Palestinian protesters stormed the border fence in Gaza this week with TV cameras recording, ensuring that sympathetic reporters would witness a one-sided clash with the Israeli army that claimed more than 50 lives, including an infant who reportedly died from inhaling tear gas.
I've read my Bible cover to cover several times, I have a PhD in NT, I've been to Jerusalem, and let me tell you that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is to the apocalypse what Kale is to Texas BBQ.
And Democracy Now! returned to form with on-the-ground reporting from Gaza by its correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous after years of bare-bones coverage of Palestine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov however rejected the Israeli spokesman's "blasphemous statement" implying the Gaza deaths were of militants.
Israeli-Palestinian tensions have been on the rise since December, when US President Donald Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, triggering furious protests violently suppressed by the IDF.
Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Hamas of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests.
President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital late past year, upending decades of USA policy in a move that was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but prompted the Palestinians to cut ties with the administration.
On Wednesday night, IAF planes attacked Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip. "No one would." Haley said.
The UN's top human rights organisation is to hold a special session to discuss the latest Israeli-Palestinian crisis on Friday.
Organizers say the wave of border protests is meant in large part to break a decade-old blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt and pressure Israel to ease its restrictions. Fridays normally see protesters turn out in larger numbers.
The IDF Spokesperson stated that "Hamas is exclusively responsible for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip".
Parampil notes that after fierce criticism on social media, The New York Times changed one of its notorious passive-voice headlines - "At least 28 Palestinians die in protests as United States prepares to open Jerusalem embassy" - to the more straightforward: "Israeli troops kill dozens of Palestinian protesters as USA embassy opens in Jerusalem". "How can Hamas reap the fruits if it pays such an expensive price?" said Salah Bardawil. The Israeli forces have meanwhile been suppressing the demonstrators, citing security concerns.